Definition:Concatenation (Formal Systems)

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This page is about combining words and letters into longer words. For other uses, see Definition:Concatenation.

Definition

Let $\mathcal A$ be an alphabet of symbols.

Concatenation is the process of placing elements of $\mathcal A$ and words in $\mathcal A$ next to each other to form a longer word.


Example

Let $a, b, c \in \mathcal A$.

Then concatenating $b$ to $a$ results in the word $ab$, and concatenating $c$ gives the word $abc$. Concatenating $b$ then gives $abcb$.

Concatenating $aba$ to $aabcba$ gives the word $aabcbaaba$.


Linguistic Note

The word concatenation derives from the Latin word catena for chain.

However, the end result of such an operation is not to be confused with a (set theoretical) chain.


Sources